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Agricultural Sustainability and Its Trends in India: A Macro-Level Index-Based Empirical Evaluation


  • A. Suresh

    (ICAR-Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Willingdon Island, Kochi 682029, Kerala, India)

  • P. Krishnan

    (ICAR-National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM), Rajendra Nagar, Hyderabad 500030, Telangana, India)

  • Girish K. Jha

    (ICAR-Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Pusa, New Delhi 110012, Delhi, India)

  • A. Amarender Reddy

    (ICAR-Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), Santosh Nagar, Hyderabad 500059, Telangana, India)


Sustainable development warrants cognizance of the limits of the ecosystem in terms of carrying capacity and technological externalities and, therefore, the limited extent of substitutability of natural capital with physical capital. The notion of sustainability assumes maximization and/or maintenance of current production without increasing the per unit use of inputs. In this paper, we assess the agricultural sustainability of 17 Indian states using an indicator approach for a period of two decades (1991–2011). For the analysis, the paper primarily uses the normalized temporal data for construction of indices for each of the selected indicators grouped under environmental, economic, and social dimensions. Overall, the agricultural sustainability has improved in all the states. Among the sub-components, while the social-sustainability dimension improved in all the states, the environmental and economic dimensions improved in 8 and 14 states, respectively. There was significant variation in sustainability performance among the states. Economic and environmental sustainability indices were negatively correlated. Based on the results, we advocate a strategy that negates this negative correlation. We recommend a comprehensive approach for integrating all the three dimensions for planning actions towards sustainable agricultural growth.

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  • A. Suresh & P. Krishnan & Girish K. Jha & A. Amarender Reddy, 2022. "Agricultural Sustainability and Its Trends in India: A Macro-Level Index-Based Empirical Evaluation," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(5), pages 1-23, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:14:y:2022:i:5:p:2540-:d:755934

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